As I finished my cardio workout at the gym this morning, I felt it happening. It comes from nowhere, out-of-the-blue. My eyes are drawn downward, then the tightness is felt in my chest, then finally the water begins to well up in my eyes. Though the years have passed the feeling, the hurt, the pain returns with the intensity and velocity they had the moment it happened. I tried to look upward so the tears would not fall. I inhaled and exhaled deeply, not uncommon while one is working out so it could go unnoticed, but you must understand when the grief overtakes me, I really don’t care who sees me. This thing that was happening was the result of me trying to fight it off, my attempt to keep the sadness at bay.
I moved to the next machine and the thoughts started happening. “You know you are never gonna be whole again”, the voice said to me. YES, I know this consciously. I counted out my sets but there it was, ” You have lost every close familial relationship one can have. Father, mother, child, sibling, spouse and 4 of those 5 took place inside of 3 years. How crazy are you?” I have to realize what an effort it is most days to simply remain upright. I was ready to just stop my workout. I saw myself walking out of the gym, getting into my car, and staring out into oblivion before I collapsed into and puddle. I could picture the mess that I am, I could hear that primal scream. It all seemed too real but yet I was still in the gym, still at the triceps’ machine. I also still exist in the place where all of the afore mentioned loss has occurred. I still want to escape the reality of that. I continue my work out, and do in fact manage to finish it without losing control.
As I get into my car and prepare to leave, I realize how very broken I am and furthermore how I will never be the whole individual I once was ever again. I liken myself to a car without its engine, brakes, powertrain and even the steering wheel. At first glance it can be recognized as a car, but upon close examination you soon discover it is missing parts. It is not beyond repair, it can run again, it is in need of some very vital parts. Without those parts it will simply sit in a stationary position and deteriorate. Unlike the car what is missing from me cannot ever be replaced; substitutions and distractions are the best that can be hoped for from my splintered, fractured, and shattered existence. There are still good things left as with the metaphor (the car) you just have to realize that even put back into running condition it is/I am forever changed, and I shall always be aware of that which I used to be/that which I have lost.